Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

June 26, 2013

Council selects Gaa

By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian

---- — The Centerville City Council Monday night voted 5-0 to offer Joe Gaa the city administrator position.

The selection was made during a special City Council meeting at City Hall that started at 5:30 p.m.

The council went into closed session at 5:33 p.m. When they returned into open session at 5:53 p.m. and voted to offer the job to Gaa, Dick Schrad, with Brimeyer Fursman, an executive search firm, called Gaa to inform him of the council’s decision.

Schrad came back and said Gaa was excited at the offer.

“He’s excited but we have a few things to talk about,” Schrad said in relation to the employment agreement. “He’s looking forward to coming here.”

The council by a 5-0 vote approved the employment agreement, which has Gaa starting Aug. 1. The agreement pays Gaa $75,000 per year.

The council will conduct a performance evaluation in December and then each subsequent December. The agreement states Gaa could be in line for a salary adjustment provided he has an acceptable review.

Gaa has 10 days vacation coming up front if he accepts the job. After that, he will earn 15 days vacation after one year on the job.

Other benefits include a $300 per month automobile expense and $50 per month phone expense.

If the council decides Gaa is not satisfactorily performing the duties of city administrator and decide to terminate him, Gaa will be entitled to three months severance pay and benefits.

Schrad said he would email the approved employment agreement to Gaa for him to sign and return to the city. Gaa can take up to 30 days to decide if he wants to accept the job.

Following the special meeting, Rob Lind, the senior councilmember, said Gaa was right on point during the interview sessions on Saturday.

“I really appreciated his confidence, his honesty,” Lind said. “He was easy to talk to, also.”

Indeed, go to to read Gaa’s answers to three questions presented by the Daily Iowegian.

Lind said all five candidates were qualified, but the city could only pick one. And it was Gaa who presented the best option.

“But we felt that Joe probably delivered what we needed in a city administrator,” Lind said. “Taking nothing away from the rest of them. But he had the qualities we were looking for.”

The special council meeting adjourned at 6:23 p.m.

According to the Iowa League of Cities, the city administrator is like the field manager for a baseball team or like the CEO for a corporation.

Depending on the way local government is set up, the city administrator duties and responsibilities can vary.

According to the Iowa League of Cities, the city administrator has supervision of city employees and the responsibility to hire and fire.